The iconic three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star has long been synonymous with quality in the automotive world. It’s a pristine reputation the team at Mercedes-Benz St. John’s has worked hard to uphold.
After a productive year of catering to the needs of Newfoundland’s Mercedes-Benz owners and owners-to-be, the St. John’s dealership has been awarded the coveted Star Dealer Award — marking them as one of the nation’s very best.
“Receiving the Star Dealer award means ‘excellence,’” says Stefan Pike, General Manager of Mercedes-Benz St. John’s. “We’ve been recognized for excellence in all areas of business. It lets people know that this is a great place to do business with.”
Mercedes-Benz Canada has recognized dealerships for excellence in customer experience, sales and service and parts with the Star Dealer Award since 1999. The top 11 are chosen annually out of a national network of 59 dealerships.
Pike credits teamwork and innovation as major factors in the dealership’s success.
“Everyone here is extremely dedicated to the brand and to delivering a fantastic experience for all of our guests,” says Pike.
Mercedes-Benz has been in Newfoundland since 1970, but in 2018 the dealership was purchased by Steele Auto Group. Pike feels the new ownership has also significantly contributed to their success.
“They have a lot of experience managing a lot of dealerships, so the guidance and support that I get from our head office in order to help guide my decision-making is definitely a factor as well,” says Pike.
Al Andrews, Sales Consultant at Mercedes-Benz St. John’s, has been with Mercedes-Benz for 21 years. Being one of the company’s longest-serving employees in Eastern Canada, Andrews has seen a lot of change over the years. Change which he sees as “very positive.”
“Some of the innovations from Mercedes-Benz are just astounding. They have done amazing things to make cars safer,” says Andrews. “We’re very fortunate to have the team that we have.”
He says everyone at Mercedes-Benz St. John’s is “just clicking on all cylinders” and that they appreciate the Star Dealer Award very much.
“I’ve been here the longest and it’s great to achieve it after all these years,” adds Andrews.
He’s a four-time recipient of the President’s Circle Award, which is awarded to individual employees by Mercedes-Benz Canada for outstanding service in their department.
The Mercedes-Benz lineup has also expanded. Once an almost exclusively high-end, limited-edition product for very exclusive clientele, Mercedes-Benz now offers an expanded model line. Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles undergo a rigorous 166-point inspection process that has been implemented by Mercedes-Benz Canada. CPO customers not only get a reliable vehicle, they also can qualify for low rates not usually offered on pre-owned vehicles.
“Mercedes-Benz vehicles start at $36,990, so they’re not unobtainable,” says Pike. “You can get an award-winning experience at a very reasonable price point.”
Mercedes-Benz Canada has held the No. 1 luxury manufacturer position in Canada for the past six consecutive years. Pike and his team take exceptional customer experience very seriously. Each vehicle is presented to its new owner on a red carpet and covered with a silver shroud. The dealership also offers a concierge service for sales, test drives and service appointments.
“So if you are a busy person or if you just prefer to have your vehicle picked up from your driveway, detailed and dropped off, that is something that we offer,” says Pike.
Donna Wallace, Fixed Operations Manager at Mercedes-Benz St. John’s, says they have a team of “very highly trained, highly skilled technicians.”
“A lot of effort goes into ensuring that when the customer brings their vehicle in, they’re leaving with their vehicle fixed right the first time,” says Wallace, winner of the Mercedes-Benz After Sales Excellence Award in Parts & Service.
Mercedes-Benz St. John’s technicians partake in annual training and technical competitions, and one of their own was recently recognized on an international level. Michael Hicks, Journeyman Technician, took home the Mercedes-Benz Certified Diagnostic Technician Award in 2019, placing third globally.
“If he came in No. 3 in Canada, we would have been totally impressed. But he came in No. 3 globally, so we were just over the moon,” says Wallace.
Mercedes-Benz St. John’s also carries vans and has a Commercial Van Specialist on staff. Sales & Leasing Consultants Reid Martin and Marc Williams have been recognized with President’s Circle Awards for their detailed knowledge of passenger vehicles and vans.
In recent years, General Sales Manager Jordan Howard says Mercedes-Benz St. John’s has increased its commercial van business — with both the Sprinter and Metris having the lowest cost of ownership in class.
“Many local businesses that never considered a Mercedes-Benz van in the past are pleasantly surprised with the affordable payment, exceptional performance and customized solutions,” says Howard. “This is in large part because of Van Specialist Marc Williams and his passion for that side of the business.”
Pike says there’s truly something for everyone and encourages people to drop by to explore their options.
“We want people who are in the market for a luxury vehicle to visit Mercedes-Benz St. John’s to see what we can do for them,” says Pike. “Mercedes-Benz St. John’s is offering an experience like no other in our market right now.”